Weekly Digest – 10 November 2021
Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.
UK HealthCare’s COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic for Kids Opens
UK HealthCare’s vaccination clinic for children opened on Tuesday and is expected to serve approximately 2,100 kids each week. Located at the outpatient facility on 245 Fountain Court, it will offer an engaging environment to put children at ease.
The clinic will run Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday’s from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parents must sign their children up for the vaccine. To register, visit ukvaccine.org.
Merck COVID-19 Pill Approved by UK Regulator
An antiviral pill developed by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and Merck, which was found to be effective at treating Covid-19 has been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency last Thursday. The UK is the first country to approve the drug.
The pill works by interfering with the virus’ replication.
Changes in Bereavement Support Payment
Changes in the law around the bereavement support payment have been announced by the government.
Currently, the bereavement support payment is available for those who lost their husband, wife, or civil partner in the last 21 months. It must be claimed within three months of the partner’s death to get the full amount, and up to 21 months after their death, but with fewer monthly payments. However, from September next year, it is being extended to unmarried, cohabiting couples with children.
If you get child benefit, you’ll get £3,500 as a first payment followed by £350 in monthly payments. Meanwhile, if you don’t, you’ll get £2,500 as a first payment and then monthly payments of £100, except if you were pregnant when your partner died.
£624 Million of Loan Funding for New Infrastructure
Loan funding of at least £624 million will be available for house builders, including SMEs, to improve the vital infrastructure needed to kick-start new housing projects.
This loan funding paves the way for up to 116,000 new homes to support people on to the housing ladder. Additionally, it will support smaller building firms and create thousands of new jobs.
New Laws and Code of Practice to Resolve Commercial Rent Debts
From 25 March 2022, new laws introduced in the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill, will establish a legally-binding arbitration process for commercial landlords and tenants who have not yet reached an agreement, following the principles in the Code of Practice.
The new laws will be implemented in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland will have a power to introduce similar legislation. The Commercial Rent Bill will apply to commercial rent debts related to the mandated closure of certain businesses such as pubs, gyms and restaurants during the pandemic.
Starting 10 November, the government is also protecting commercial tenants from debt claims, including County Court Judgements (CCJs), High Court Judgements (HCJs) and bankruptcy petitions, issued against them in relation to rent arrears accrued during the pandemic.
Business Output Slowed for 6th Month in a Row Due
UK business output has slowed for the sixth consecutive month amid a supply chain crisis, energy price hikes, and labour shortages. According to BDO, its measure of business output growth declined from 105.23 points in September to 103.35 points in October.
Cold Weather Payment Scheme
From 1 November, households will become eligible for the Cold Weather Payment scheme which involves a weekly reduction on their energy bills.
You can receive this payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over seven consecutive days. Eligible individuals will get £25 for each seven-day period of very cold weather between 1 November 1 and 31 March 2022.
£65 Million Support Package for Renters
Vulnerable renters that are struggling due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will benefit from a £65 million support package intended for low income households announced by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
The funding will be given to councils in England and is aimed at preventing homelessness and supporting families get back on their feet. This comes on top of the £500 million Household Support Fund announced in September.
£6 Million Trees Call to Action Fund
Action to get more trees in the ground, create more jobs, and improve access to nature across the country has been stepped up on 31 October with a new £6 million ‘Trees Call to Action Fund’.
Grants of £250,000 to £500,000 will be awarded to projects across England, with funding to be allocated to up to 24 regional or national projects managed by partnerships of environmental charities, not-for-profit organisations, local authorities, and protected landscape bodies.
£500 Million Plan for Jobs Expansion
Workers leaving the furlough scheme and unemployed individuals over 50 years old will be supported back into work as part of more than £500m expansion of the government’s Plan for Jobs. People earning the lowest wages will also benefit and existing schemes targeting young people will be extended into next year as part of the new package.
Starting in April 2022, the Government is enhancing its programme of support for workers on Universal Credit.
SME Brexit Support Fund
The SME Brexit Support Fund will help businesses adjust to new customs, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU.
Traders can apply for a grant of up to £2,000 to pay for practical support for importing and exporting. This fund will help businesses prepare for the implementation of import controls that will take effect from April and July.
More details can be found here.
The Kickstart Scheme:
- Provides funding to employers to create new job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit
- Covers 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage) for 25 hours a week for a total of six months
- Also covers National Insurance contributions
- Employers can spread the start date of the job placements until the end of December 2021
Applications close in December. More information can be found here.
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